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September 23 2005

Serenity Theater Count. Serenity will go wide into 2,100+ theaters. Into The Blue is unfortunately getting 2,700.

Ouch. That's kinda low. I was thinking it would be more like 2,800. I know there's a lot of competition for screens this fall season. Still, it's a far cry from the naysayers who were saying stuff like "limited release" or "straight to DVD" back in the day.
Indeed. Something closer to 3000 would have been better.

With that count, Serenity is likely to pull in something between $15M-$20M. (Though I haven't factored in fanboys and whatnot.)
Wow. That's a far cry from Chris B's estimate of 3k screens a few months ago.

"We know you guys are gonna go September 30 to see the finished movie," he replies. "[Tonight's preview] was on 20 screens with--what, 250, 300 people per theater? So you're talking about maybe 5,000 people. But on an opening weekend of a movie, you're talking about 3,000 screens. We're not worried."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/757fhfxg.asp?pg=2
I simply cannot wait until the 30th! It's practically going to be a High Holy Day. I've already scheduled a half-day at work so that I can rush to an early afternoon matinee. I'll likely see the film AT LEAST twice opening weekend. How amazing would it be for Serenity to open at #1?! *fingers crossed*
Hmm, had heard 2,700 earlier on (in no way doubting you, just sorry to see it slip down a bit, though that could well make the take/theatre look much better). Get out there and see it everybody! Take your friends, take your neighbors, buy tickets for strangers :)

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-09-22 23:18 ]
I don't think Serenity is gonna open at #1. I'd like it to but its going to take a huge spike in non-fan interest of the film(ala Exorcism of Emily Rose) for that to happen.
Maybe after the first week(and all the success), it'll play in more theatres in the second week. Of course, I don't know if this actually happens. But it does say 2100+. Plus is good.
Damn it. 2,100 is pretty low. Hopefully, we can make it work...hopefully...
Well, Serenity doesn't have to open at #1. It can pull a My-Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding and by word of mouth, stay in theaters till the next apocalypse.
I think I'm getting nervous about how the movie will fare in the opening weekend. An I do feel useless, because I can't do anything to help, since I live so far away.
So why do movies like Fantastic Four get 3600+ on opening weekend, and we only get 2100+?
Corpse Bride has been in limited release for a week now and will open wide this Friday. I'm not sure how many theatres it's getting in the U.S. initially, but I would imagine a lot since (a)it's a Tim Burton flick and (b)it has cross-generation appeal and is being marketed openly as such. Reviews have been very positive and it sounds awesome, I'll probably see it this weekend if not during Serenity weekend instead (but Friday, September 30th is just for Serenity). I think it'll keep the #1 spot for a while and probably have some staying power due to Halloween.

But again, we have no idea how much fan-impact (and the people we bring with us) will have on the success.

I forgot that Mirror Mask opens as well on Sept. 30th, and while I know it's not competition, I hope it makes its way to a theatre in Ontario. I wanna see it opening weekend too.

[ edited by Kris on 2005-09-22 23:47 ]
On a positive note, Serenity has no direct (male) competition during the second week of October, so it has 2 weeks to impress before The Fog, Elizabethtown and Domino bury it.
So why do movies like Fantastic Four get 3600+ on opening weekend, and we only get 2100+?


Because oddly enough it was a big budget movie with a marketing budget to boot that was released in the summer time.
I'm not sure how many theatres [Corpse Bride]'s getting in the U.S. initially, but I would imagine a lot

That link says it's 3,204.

I'll probably see it this weekend if not during Serenity weekend instead (but Friday, September 30th is just for Serenity).

Don't do THAT! See Corpse Bride a different weekend, leave the whole 9/30 weekend for Serenity!
Our current plan is to see Serenity Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The kids are stoked at the idea! I'm not sure I can handle that much popcorn, but I'll soldier through...
Hey, dcubed, don't still my idea... ;-P

Though I don't have kids.
Not to sound stupid, but maybe on the bright side it's better to fill up 2100+ screens than have unfilled seats? Can't they add more if/WHEN the movie smashes like nothing has smashed before and they have to add more screens and showtimes? (Those were my little sister's words--"Serenity's going to SMASH.")
Ditto: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Then maybe twice more in following weeks (trying to drag as many people as possible every time). And if I feel compelled to see a different movie while Serenity's still out, I may just buy a ticket for Serenity and go to the other movie. ;-)
Nice idea jam2, very sneaky. As most people on here, I'm also planning to go two, three, maybe four times the first weekend, and also dragging friends along every time.
Well I'm happy it's going to be at my local theater - just checked! Had me worried there because I live in a pretty rural area with only one theater for about 7 towns to share!
We can't fill up that many seats Cygnet. Thats Star Wars money.
Firefly Flanatic, lucky you...I'm in the DC area (Arlington), and we still, only 8 days out, don't know which theater(s) it will be showing at...and if there will be a DC premiere, which would be very nice indeed.
The key thing to look for here is the "+". It simply means BOM isn't sure, and it's their estimate. The number could end up being quite a few more theaters... or quite a few less.
I'm going at least twice opening weekend. Friday I'm bringing anyone and everyone I can...hope to get 20-30 people, and see it at the Arclight, if it's playing there, where tickets are 14 bucks each. So that's minimum about 300 dollars right there. Yay. I agree number one will be hard, but a solid number 2 after Corpse Bride in its second weekend will get people talking. Word of mouth is important, yes, but the first two weekends are also very important. Most theaters are contractually obliged to show a film for two weeks. If, after those two weeks, it's not doing too well, they can drop it to make room for more films. This fall season is very competitive, so if Serenity has a bad first two weeks, it may not be given the chance to find an audience. Usually, you can see the two week rule at work in the films that get the worst word of mouth. For instance, I think Gigli dropped from playing in around 2,500 hundred screens to about 200 by week three.
Not stealing any ideas. It's been mentioned on other threads here. I'm just gonna take that idea and ... and ... and ...

BTW, I can't figure out which theaters around here are showing the BDM. I don't really want to wait until next week to buy tickets so how are folks finding out that the BDM is showing in their area?
Yeah I keep checking hollywood.com to see if Serenity is playing anywhere near me (charlotte, nc) but I keep coming up with nothing.
Dcubed, my local theater has a website and it lists the coming attractions.

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-09-23 00:56 ]
Eddy, I guess I live in a fool's paradise. It's just that lately I've seen Serenity/Firefly fans coming out of the woodwork, and most are not official Browncoats or even BTVS/Angel fans. I do think our local theater will be sold out opening weekend, but I'm in Canada right now, so I guess that doesn't count anyway!
The key thing to look for here is the "+". It simply means BOM isn't sure, and it's their estimate. The number could end up being quite a few more theaters... or quite a few less.
Yup, those numbers tend to jump around, sometimes by pretty big amounts until just the day before the release. So hopefully Serenity will jump up a few hundred before the movie comes out.

Firefly Flanatic, tried the local website route, but didn't have much luck. The schedule didn't go past Wed. next week, but even for today there was no info. Sigh... I should be more patient...
I do think our local theater will be sold out opening weekend, but I'm in Canada right now, so I guess that doesn't count anyway!

Actually the Hollywood studios consider Canada's box office as domestic, so Canada does count! Plus I think Serenity will do better in Canada than it does in the US, as I think Firefly is a little more popular up here in Canada, giving it's total weekend box office a little boost by a million or two. The Space chanel (Canada's sci-fi chanel) picked up Firefly shortly after it went off the air on Fox. They even showed the episodes that Fox never aired and desipte that Firefly only has 15 episodes (since the pilot gets split into two episodes) they have kept it in their schedule for the past 2-3 years or so.
Serenity's big competition going into the weekend is Into the Blue, not Corpse Bride. Burton's film is hardly going to be a phenomenon.
Try to keep in mind that if Serenity does well then they will add more cinemas the following week. If it gets strong word of mouth then more of the general public will see it second week than first week. Also even though Into The Blue is getting more cinemas there is no indication that it will get more people in those Cinemas and I would expect that Serenity will be more popular on its opening night than Into the Blue.

So, it's up to us to make Serenity a success. People need to get out there and make this film a success. Where I live you can buy a booklet of ten tickets for $105. So my plan is buy a booklet and to keep going back again and again until the booklet runs out.

Last but not least keep in mind that this is an estimate and that we won't no the actual figure until next week.
I've got the answer to all our problems...multiple viewings.
Fab-Matt: SPACE rocks for doing that, I didn't realize they had been running Firefly continuously but that is one thing Sci-Fi should have done earlier, IMHO, to encourage fans of Firefly. Still, I think Serenity is going to be Joss Whedon's Tipping Point, if that makes sense, because of the crazy viral marketing you guys have done...I've been to around a dozen bookstores and comic stores in the Pacific Northwest over the last few months, and met over a hundred fellow fans (exhibiting varying degrees of rabid fanosity) simply by requesting the Serenity comic or Astonishing X-men. Everyone was psyched about the movie, and the customers who heard us talking about it were caught up in the enthusiasm. Some were puzzled (or pissed)that the movie was postponed from April, so they are getting itchy to see it. So, basically, it's all about infecting people! (And you are all very contagious. Kudos.)

In case this seems off topic, my point is that besides the "average public" that doesn't know about the movie and will just go the theater looking for something to see (although I don't know a lot of people who do that these days) I think there are going to be more Butts in Seats than we may be expecting.

Me, shutting up now.

[ edited by Cygnet on 2005-09-23 02:33 ]
That theater count does look low. And frankly, I think Corpse Bride will prove greater competition than not, purely because the appeal is so widely based and it's probably the best advertised movie coming out this month. I've been seeing TV spots for it for a month or more.

Strangely, I just got off the phone with my friend (a convertee) who was gushing about a Serenity-positive encounter he had at a bookstore. He got 2 free screening passes for it for next Tues, good for 4 people, and I'm pondering whether to go. I've already started sketching out plans for opening weekend: Friday night, probably a late showing with 3-5 other people who I occasionally go to the movies with -- we're seeing Corpse Bride this Fri, late showing. It's gonna be relaxed and with a bunch of non-fans. Then Saturday, huge, huge, huge group... hopefully. I'm already counting at least 8-9 people, with probably more. We're calling in anybody who might be the slightest bit interested, and it's gonna be (hopefully) large.

I've always maintained that it's not gonna be the geek-factor that will pull in the major bucks -- the fanbase and the sci-inclined are assured dollars. But those dollars spell "cult classic" unless the mainstream audience gets into it as well. So I'm not converting people but just planning a movie night around a cool-looking movie that me and my friends happen to be rabidly interested in... that's all.

I can't believe it... 8 more days.
make that 2701 screens please. The Milehigh browncoats

http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/MileHighBrowncoats/

are renting our very own theater at 12:01 (are you going dbcubed and grrraagh?) I am sure that our little Rocky Mountain contribution will completely sway the opening weekend numbers.
*has faith in jossfans*
I just hope I have a theater here in the New Orleans area open & ready to go in order to see Serenity period. Still, if I have to drive up to Baton Rouge opening weekend, I will.
Anyone know if the money taken at the preview screenings will be factored into the first weekend's box office totals? Or will they simply be added to the overall numbers?
I'm afraid the preview screenings may not count at all since the tickets were sold as 'Special Advanced Screening' without the name of the movie attached to the sale. I don't know exactly how that works though. I am disappointed to hear that we'll be on fewing screens, but with luck we'll still beat out 'Into The Blue'!
The preview screenings' total 'box-office' would come out at around $400,000, so there wouldn't be that much of an affect on the opening weekend take anyway.
In previous threads, those in the "know" said that the special advance screenings would count toward opening numbers.

Ruthless1, thanks for the heads up! I'm assuming that is a 12:01 AM showing. If so, then that would be a little hard on the kids and we no longer have our regular sitter (she has a real job now :-)). I'll check out the MileHighBrownCoats link in just a minute...
question: I was wondering what numbers the theater's look at when they decide to keep the movie for the second week. Do they strictly look at opening weekend only, or that entire first week? How late do they wait to decide what stays and what goes?

I'm all set with a sitter for Friday night! I'm going with some friends later that weekend, and maybe if I can get another sitter with hubby or with other friends. Anyway, I'm probably going to see it around 4 times, but probably not all that weekend. Trying to do what busy mom can do!
Am I wrong in thinking that that 'Oliver Twist' movie might also be competition for 'Serenity'? I mean, it looks like the kind of good ol' family movie that often does well...am I on crack?

I hope 'Into the Blue' doesn't actually do that well - it doesn't look all that good - and look what happened to 'The Island' and 'Stealth' - they both bombed didn't they...?
Polanski's version of Oliver Twist is far from a family movie. It may be PG-13, but is severely misanthropic and pessimistic.

Also, as of the 18th, FilmJerk's Early Report still has:

Serenity: 2750+
Into the Blue: 2000+

They tend to be right as least as often as BOM. They also apparently got new numbers to base it on, since the week before it said 2500+ for Serenity. Something extreme happened in the past 5 days? =)
Followed the link to see what Into the Blue was about, and cringed when I saw it stars Jessica Alba. Worried about a good portion of Serenity's demographic lining up to enjoy her... acting. Just as my spirits started to sink, I was distracted by the kickass Serenity, banner at the top of the Into the Blue page: "Millions of Fans Can't Be Wrong. On September 30th, The Next Great Science Fiction Adventure Begins. Serenity." Sweet.
I think Serenity should have some penguins in it just to guarantee that it's a hit. They could be quite easily worked into the script. Jayne stares at penguin, penquin flaps its wings back. Box office gold, I tell you.
Simon - what are you on about? Everybody knows it's parrots that are the new black! Penguins indeed!
I saw Corpse Bride with a friend at a preview screening Wednesday night and when it was over (about 75 minutes) we both were glad they had been free tickets. We also both persuaded most of our respective friends & co-workers to wait for the DVD. All the way through the movie, I kept thinking, "Why did they make this?" and I guess the answer is, because they could!

BTW, we were both way more engrossed in watching the "Serenity" trailer on the preview screen than in the movie :) and we almost did the Dance of Joy in the lobby when a staff person confirmed that "Serenity" would be opening there next Friday.

Our plan is to go twice during the afternoon before joining over 100 of our fellow Browncoats from our Meetup group at a more central theatre for the early evening show. I also plan to see it a couple of more times during the weekend, once or twice during the week, and our group has another showing planned for the following weekend. We're doing what we can!

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